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Rediff.com  » News » Copter scam had political patronage, alleges BJP

Copter scam had political patronage, alleges BJP

February 16, 2013 12:48 IST

The Bharatiya Janata Party on Saturday mounted pressure on the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance government to seek a thorough probe in the VVIP chopper deal.

The party also alleged that a corruption of such magnitude cannot happen without political patronage.

Asserting that there must be a political leader involved in the scam, BJP spokesperson Prakash Javadekar alleged that the government's efforts throughout last year were aimed at hiding the relevant facts from the country.

"They conducted an internal inquiry, instead of a public inquiry, through the CVC. Then they did not answer properly and correctly in the Parliament. Even our letters were unanswered. They conducted an internal inquiry which gave a clean chit to the whole deal and they declared that there is no foul play. So, one has to make accountable the person who conducted those internal inquiries. The details must come out," said Javadekar.

"What are the findings? Who conducted it? When was it conducted? Whom did they contact? And how did they come to the conclusion that there is no foul play? There has to be stiff action against it. Without political patronage, corruption of this magnitude cannot happen," he added.

Despite the ministry of defence claiming that it had made all efforts to investigate the alleged kickbacks in the VVIP helicopter deal, it has emerged that the Central Vigilance Commission had asked the ministry for a report last October, but it is still waiting for a response.

The BJP had earlier demanded a time-bound monitored probe into the matter. The party claimed that the real issues were who finalised the contract and who were the beneficiaries of the alleged kickbacks.

The ministry of defence has initiated action for the cancellation of contract for the procurement of 12 AW101 helicopters for the use of VVIPs.

The MoD has already issued a formal show-cause notice to British firm AgustaWestland seeking cancellation of the contract and taking action as per the terms of the contract and the Integrity Pact.

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